by Cheryl Holt

September 2005
ISBN: 0-312-93797-0
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Emily Barnett is applying for the job of governess for Michael Farrow, Earl of Winchester. What she doesn’t know is that when she arrives he’s actually interviewing for a new mistress. After drinking too much punch, and getting drunk, Emily meets Michael and they are both confused – she doesn’t look the part of a mistress, and he’s asking such strange questions in regard to a governess position.

After witnessing a rather shocking scene, Emily escapes from his home and refuses to accept any of his messages. He’s desperate for a governess for the wards he’s about to inherit. He knows nothing of children and wants nothing to do with them. When he realizes how destitute Emily is, and that she has two others to care for, he uses it to his advantage. Despite the fact she’s sure he’s not the best man in the world to work for, she can’t turn down his offer, which includes room and board.

Michael has requested Emily to give him a nightly report on the children. He actually has no desire to hear about them, but uses it as an excuse to see her. He finds himself drawn to her, even though he knows he shouldn’t mess with her. And Emily knows what he’s saying and doing to her is wrong, but for some reason she can’t resist him.

In classic Holt style there is a antagonist or two who are desperate to keep the lovers apart. After giving so much of her self to Michael, will Emily be able to see the truth? And will Michael ever realize that what he feels is love? There is a secondary romance in this story which makes the book even more delightful. Two people who have one thing in common, but will it bring them together or keep them apart?

I was so glad to have an afternoon where I could sit down and read the entire book through in one sitting. This is one of my favorite books by Cheryl Holt - the characters were written so beautifully you felt their pain, and desire. Emily is a spunky character who kept Michael busy with all her questions, regardless of the subject matter.

Reviewed in August 2005 by Jackie.

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